Trademark Services for Social Enterprises & Entrepreneurs

The Founder

Rukayatu “Ruky” Tijani is the Founder, Creator, and Chief Esquire Officer of Firm for the Culture.

Drawing on her extensive experience as an intellectual property attorney in the Silicon Valley office of the top litigation firm in the Country, Ruky provides extensive, detail-oriented and comprehensive trademark education, strategy, and application services to a host of social entrepreneurs and innovative founders at accessible flat-fee prices.

As a Social Entrepreneur herself, Ruky knows what it’s like to seek social change while learning to protect a business’s assets. Ruky is the Founder and Creator of the First Generation Purpose Project ("FGPP"), an initiative designed to help First Generation Professionals and Entrepreneurs navigate life and career by utilizing the grit and tenacity that is already on the inside of them.

As the Founder of the FGPP, Ruky has provided workshops to students, young professionals, and creatives at New York University School of Law, Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, University of Notre Dame School of Law, and Berkeley Law School. Her workshops have been praised as candid, insightful, empowering, and practical. She has been recognized as a California Change Lawyer for Legal Diversity, been featured in XONecole and Above the Law, and taken part in several podcast interviews, including the Happy Lawyers Project and the First-Gen Lounge.

Ruky is a proud graduate of UC Berkeley School of Law, an alum of three nationally ranked top law firms (Quinn Emanuel, Ropes & Gray, and Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton), a member of the California and New York State Bars, a fearless advocate for diversity, a Nigerian food lover, a sister, and a friend.

Combining Ruky’s entrepreneurial experience and network, intellectual prowess, and passion for social change, Firm for the Culture seeks to be your go-to firm as you work to protect your brand.

The Mission

Why we Started...

Because Intellectual Property is a Civil Right

While working in the Silicon Valley Office of my former law firm, I came across a story of a popular video game that took dance moves and other intellectual property from people who have worked so hard to craft artistic masterpieces.

Suffice it to say, the people from whom the dance moves were taken were never compensated, and this pained me greatly. Far too often, we’re told discussions around intellectual property and intangible asset protection are best reserved for the Silicon Valley venture capital firms and patent-heavy organizations.

But intellectual property is more than that.

Intellectual property covers our thoughts, dances, music, innovative expressions, and unique contributions to the culture. As an intellectual property attorney, I wanted to make sure social impact organizations knew the unique and amazing value of their contributions, and that they had an advocate for them for matters before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

We started Firm for the Culture because intellectual property is a civil right.

The Team

Trademark Attorney and IP Strategist

Michele McShane joined Firm for the Culture to help our clients protect their brands and expand their impact.

Trademark Attorney and IP Strategist, Michele McShane brings a wealth of intellectual property experience to FFTC in perfect complement to its Founder, Rukayatu Tijani.

At the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Michele served as a Senior Managing Attorney in the Examination Division and was selected as an Interim Interlocutory Attorney writing opinions for the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

She also has law firm experience in business development of entertainment and publishing startups as well as in serving as in-house intellectual property counsel to major corporations, including Mattel, Barbie, Fisher-Price, Scientific Games, Bally and Tyco.

Michele is a native of Marin County, a graduate of Temple University School of Law and a member of the District of Columbia Bar. Her passions include travel, photography and writing. Her first book published on Amazon discusses the benefits of meditation, 33 Lenses: The Art and Practice of Creative Believing.

The Services

TM Watch Services

STARTING AT $1600 per year | $500 per quarter*

  • Detailed quarterly opinion letter detailing potentially infringing trademarks in the marketplace
  • Session to strategize cease & desist and/or other brand protection efforts
  • TM representation at the USPTO
  • TM renewal and maintenance reminders

*service includes cease & desist and/or renewal for an additional investment

Trademark Application & Representation



  • Comprehensive nationwide search to assess brand name availability
  • Detailed opinion letter discussing TM registrability & application strategy
  • Representation before the USPTO, no matter how long it takes
  • Unlimited client updates & scheduled check ins
  • Registration certificate

*service includes one current in use class application filing

New Brand Strategy Session



  • Comprehensive session detailing the types of brand names likely to be registered at the USPTO
  • Ideation session to brainstorm up to 20 brand names
  • USPTO search of top 3 brand names**
  • Preliminary report regarding the trademark risks of top 3 brand names

*Service provided complimentary with Trademark Application Pack investments

**Service includes comprehensive nationwide search, USPTO filing, & representation for additional fee of $1,850

IP Licensing & Brand Monetization



  • Audit of intellectual property portfolio to assess brand monetization and licensing strategy
  • Session discussing TM licensing and brand monetization goals
  • Completion of brand strategy & monetization roadmap
  • Completion of brand licensing agreement

Office Action Representation

STARTING AT $1800 - $2000


  • Office action assessment + fact & legal research
  • Collection of supplemental evidence & changes to the USPTO filed application as needed
  • Representation before the USPTO, no matter how long it takes
  • Drafted Office Action Response & filing before USPTO
  • Unlimited scheduled consultations throughout the office action response process

Cease & Desist



  • Assessment & research regarding the likelihood of brand infringement
  • Opinion letter discussing research results and legal strategy
  • Completing and sending a cease and desist letter or response to the opposing business*

*Option available if research and discussion necessitate a C&D Letter or Response.

TM Renewal Services



  • Asessment of trademark registration for Section 8 renewal protection
  • Assessment of trademark registration for incotestability protection, thereby rendering your trademark immune from common attacks by third parties
  • TM representation before the USPTO
  • Unlimited client updates & scheduled check ins

International TM Filing & Representation



  • Collection & assessment of evidence undergirding USPTO and international trademark applications for designated countries
  • Filing of TM application with the World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO")
  • Representation before WIPO, no matter how long it takes
  • Resolution of non-substative refusals and/or office actions
  • Unlimited client updates & scheduled check ins
  • Registration certificate

*service includes one class registration for one country

The Results

Your Brand Here

The Next Steps

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